Thai Cucumber Salad is loaded with fresh ingredients with lots of bold flavors and is a great side dish for any meal it only takes a few minutes to throw together.
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Thinly sliced cucumbers tossed in a sweet and tangy dressing along with red onions, peanuts, and cilantro a delicious refreshing side dish. This simple recipe is one of the best ways to use up those garden cucumbers. Pair it with any protein for a refreshing perfect side dish.
Why this recipe works
This Thai Cucumber salad recipe is sweet and savory with a touch of spice. It tastes just like what's served at most Thai restaurants like this Thai Shrimp Curry. It's an excellent choice for a light lunch or a light side dish to my Slow Cooker Asian Beef Short Ribs or grilled Lemon Soy Sauce Chicken. If you love the freshness in this perfect summer side dish you might also like my Asian Chicken Salad with Peanut Sauce.
- Cucumber: I prefer to use English cucumbers but Persian cucumbers also work.
- Onions: I use red onions, but sliced green onions also work.
- Honey: Adds a natural sweetness to this cucumber salad recipe but granulated sugar can also be used.
- Limes: Fresh lime juice adds some acidity to the salad.
- Sweet chili sauce: Sweet and spicy staple ingredient in Thai food
- Cilantro: If you hate cilantro you could try fresh mint or Thai basil.
- Peanuts: Slivered almonds can be used instead.
- Red pepper flakes: Or you could add in some sliced red chilis.
How to make this Thai Cucumber Salad
- Step 1: Place 1/2 of the cucumber slices in a strainer. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt over the top followed by the rest of the cucumbers and salt, let set, then rinse.
- Step 2: In a large bowl add the salad ingredients.
- Step 3: In a small bowl mix together the dressing until combined.
- Step 4: Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until combined.
- Using a mandoline will get you perfect slices, but a sharp knife will also work, you dont want to slice the cucumbers too thin.
- To get those tiny groves on the side of the cucumber. Use a potato peeler and run a strip down the side then leave a gap of green peel and run the peeler. down the side again. This is an options step.
- You can add in other vegetables like shredded carrots or even red bell peppers.
- Don’t skip salting the cucumbers it helps them stay crisp when tossed with the dressing.
- I prefer English cucumbers but really any kind will work you may just want to remove the center if it’s a seedy cucumber.
- Sprinkle on some sesame seeds before serving for a twist.
A fresh cucumber salad is a deliciously easy side dish with crisp veggies and sweet and tangy dressing with Asian flavors.
Sprinkling the cucumbers with salt and letting them sit helps keep them crisp. It removes the water from the cucumber and keeps this summer salad nice and crisp. I skipped it one time and the salad had so much excess water.
You can peel them or leave the peel on totally up to you. Or my personal preference is to run the peeler down the sides in strips for a pretty presentation.
No, you absolutely do not have to use chopped peanuts for this Thai inspired salad. If you don’t the texture of the crunchy peanuts or have an allergy this salad is delicious without them or you could even add some slivered almonds for the added crunch factor.
This Asian cucumber salad recipe is best served fresh, you can make the dressing up to 4 days ahead and store it in the refrigerator and toss it right before serving.
Thai Cucumber Salad
- 2 English cucumbers sliced ¼ inch thin
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ red onion halved and sliced ¼ inch thin
- ½ cup peanuts chopped
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
- 2 tablespoon honey or granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 clove garlic minced
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Salt to taste
- Place 1/2 of the sliced cucumbers in a strainer and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt over them, then place the second layer followed by another teaspoon of salt. Let sit for about 20 minutes, rinse, put on a paper towel, and pat dry. (This step is optional but allows the cucumbers to stay crisp longer.)
- Place the sliced cucumbers, onions, peanuts, and cilantro in a large bowl and set aside.
- In a small bowl add the sweet chili sauce, honey, sesame oil, lime juice, garlic, and red pepper flakes, and mix until combined.
- Pour the sauce over the cucumbers and toss until coated. Add salt to taste.